Now that the reality of a short crop has settled in, we step into September hoping that weather will turn in our favor and consumers will increase their buying. The shortened supply and higher prices of Perennial Ryegrass will cause some distributors to adjust formulas wherever possible. Annual Ryegrass shipments were average or better in August. For those who have endured wet conditions, it may come as a surprise that the Upper Midwest and West have been quite dry. Rain is needed in those areas for good fall sales. The East Coast has had some good days and plenty of moisture. Maybe a bit of disease and some good weekend weather will provide increased demand, especially in tall fescue country.
At this time, it's too early to know whether there will be sufficient supplies of perennial ryegrass, although higher prices help to stretch the supply. Kentucky bluegrass cleanouts are reportedly higher than normal. Last weekend a Washington bluegrass cleaning plant was destroyed by fire and seed loss is estimated in the 2-4 million pound range. Red clover acres in Oregon were down significantly, perhaps as much as 50%, and yields were close to average. Even though crimson acres were up and yields good, it appears there won't be much carryover. As farmers are preparing for planting, it would seem that acres of perennial ryegrass will see the biggest increase. Wheat prices are good, so hopefully those acres will hold or increase.
Species Selection Guidelines For Sports Fields
|Time available between seed & play||Grass Mixture||% by Weight||Seeding Rate (lbs./1000 sqft)|
|9 months +||Kentucky Bluegrass||100%||1-2 lbs.|
|9 months +||Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass||90%, 10%||4-6 lbs.|
|6 months +||Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass||80%, 20%||2-3 lbs.|
|6 months +||Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass||80%, 20%||5-6 lbs.|
|3 months +||Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass||50%, 50%||3-4 lbs.|
|<3 months (in season overseeding)||Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass||50-100%, up to 50%||6-8 lbs.|
Here’s a unique chart that you might want to pass onto your cool season Sports Field customers, put out by Ohio State University. Additionally, those of you that have athletic field customers might find valuable resources at Ohio State’s Sports Turf website: http://hcs.osu.edu/sportsturf.
Did You Know?
From crop years 1998-99 through 2002-03, Oregon grown creeping red fescue has more than doubled. According to the Oregon Fine Fescue Commission assessment report, growers have reported a steady increase in production. Unlike Canadian production, most all of the Oregon production is proprietary varieties with a respectable portion used for exports.
|FY ’98-99||FY ’99-00||FY ’00-01||FY ’01-02||FY 02’03|